The Utah Legislature put into effect Utah Code 30-3-37 to provide guidelines that help parents handle when their co-parent decides to “relocate.” The code defines relocation as one parent “moving 150 miles or more from the residence of the other parent.” If you are not moving 150 miles or more from the other parent, then there is no need to worry about this statute. However, if you or your co-parent is moving 150 miles or more away then there are some important hurdles that you should know about 30-3-37.
First, when relocation is going to occur the relocating parent must provide written notice 60 days prior to the intended relocation. This notice must include the following affirmations:
(a) That “the parent-time provisions in Subsection (5) or a schedule approved by both parties will be followed; and
(b) Neither parent will interfere with the other’s parental rights pursuant to court-ordered parent-time arrangements’ or the schedule approved by both parties.” Utah Code 30-3-37(2).
When the parties cannot come to an agreement on the relocation either parent may request a hearing for the court to review the notice of relocation and determine if the relocation is in the best interest of the of the child. See Utah Code 30-3-37(3)-(4). Although the court may “consider any other factors that the court considers relevant to the determination” of relocation the court must consider the following:
(a) The reason for the parent’s relocation;
(b) The additional costs or difficulty to both parents in exercising parent-time; and
(c) The economic resources of both parents.
See Utah Code 30-3-37(4)-(5).
There are many other considerations when a parent is deciding to relocate. For further reading on the physiological effects of relocation on children of divorce read the following article: http://nc.aaml.org/sites/default/files/the%20psychological%20effects.pdf